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LUCK- HOW IT INFLUENCES OUR LIVES
- Are you a gambler?
- How often do you gamble?
- Do you consider yourself “lucky” or “unlucky”?
- Overall, is your gambling confined to the racetrack, to sports betting, casinos, or do you participate in other forms of gambling as well?
Perhaps you are an individual who believes that all forms of gambling are wrong, and that it is best to abstain entirely.
As an abstainer, have you ever found yourself saying: I’ll bet that (this or that) is going to happen?” The fact is, we are ALL gamblers. We gamble every time we cross the street that we are going to reach the other side.
We gamble when we get into our automobile that we won’t have an accident. We gamble when we start a new business that it will succeed.
When we marry, we are gambling that the marriage will work out. In short, any situation that involves financial, physical or emotional risk is a gamble.
The decision to assume risk is generally determined by what we perceive the odds to be. If we feel the odds are in our favor, we are most apt to
take action – otherwise, we will generally wait until we feel the odds have improved to a point where the benefits now outweigh the risks.
I have spent many years learning how to wager on winning thoroughbred racehorses. It has proven to be both a pleasurable and profitable hobby. Through my own ability to lessen the odds of losing, and by increasing the odds of winning, I have managed to become a consistent winner at the track year after year.
While many losers may blame “bad luck” or claim that the race is fixed, in actuality, they have not yet learned how to properly apply the laws of probability. NOTE: A wager should only be made when the R.O.I. (Return on Investment) is in your favor. Professional players know this and pass up all other wagers, preferring to rely upon proven percentages.
CREATING THE LUCK YOU DESIRE
Since luck is so unpredictable, it has become a conditioned response to assume that it is beyond our control. For those who have come to accept this, bad luck if often an excuse or face-saving device that is used to justify failure.
Make no mistake about it! With very few exceptions, we create the events and experiences in our lives that cause us to be lucky or unlucky.
Barring certain unpredictable and catastrophic occurrences such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, or incurable diseases, I can assure you that you have the ability to create good luck in your life with mathematical certainty.
It is simply a matter of turning “chance” into “good luck” through the right mental, emotional, spiritual and physical environment in order for good luck and good fortune to be manifested.
If you will read this chapter in a careful and conscientious way, I am certain your ideas about luck will begin to change. It will become altogether clear to you that luck has nothing to do with outside forces.
You will begin to understand that being “lucky” is determined by a specific condition of mind that enables you to create the circumstances you desire.
The fact that we can create good or bad luck through our thoughts and actions is a concept that many people refuse to consider. Why? Because it immediately makes them responsible for what is happening now and for what may happen in the future.
This can be extremely disturbing to those who prefer to believe that they are simply “plagued” with bad luck, notwithstanding the fact that they are honest, hard-working, extremely likable and well-intentioned.
Such people often insist that life has simply dealt them the “wrong cards” and that there is nothing they can do about it.
To say there is nothing you can do about your immediate circumstances is to say that you lack the personal capabilities or potential to make any positive changes in your life. Do you really believe this is true? I very much doubt it.
NATURAL ABILITY VS. POTENTIAL
Most self-help books or audio programs invariably get around to discussing the subject of “potential.” The author or narrator will usually attempt to motivate the listener or reader on the basis of the theory that we, as human beings, are gifted with “unlimited potential.”
We are repeatedly told that the key to unlocking this potential is in our minds, and that whatever we can conceive we can also achieve.
To avoid any confusion or misunderstanding, let me say at the outset that I am in total agreement with the concept of untapped, unlimited potential. But while this may be true in the abstract, it becomes somewhat unrealistic through practical application.
Our own failure and disappointment are often perpetrated by our inner confusion between potential and natural ability.
For example: While I certainly have the potential to become a musician, I do NOT have the natural ability. Some years ago, I learned this the hard way. After spending several months attempting to learn to play a musical instrument, I found I was no better at it than the first day I started taking lessons.
The unhappy truth of the matter was that while I possessed the potential and the motivation to play a musical instrument instrument, I possessed no natural ability.
At the risk of sounding esoteric, I feel it is important for me to share some background thought on the subject of natural ability. As a direct result of my reading, study, research and personal experience, I believe that each of us comes into this world already equipped with natural abilities that will insure our success and happiness if they are properly recognized, nurtured and developed. A case in the extreme is that of the child prodigy.
Many such children have been known to play a musical instrument, or to even compose music without any encouragement or formal instruction. How are such things possible?
Again, based on my own experience in working with such gifted individuals, I am inclined to believe that these people were born with these highly developed natural abilities. Perhaps they learned then in another lifetime. There is no way of telling. But to merely chalk it up to
coincidence or some random genetic aberration is not reasonable or acceptable to me.
The point I am trying to make is that we have the potential to do many things, the natural ability to do a few, and possibly only one or two things with any real quality of excellence.
Remember! Good luck and good fortune are highly dependent upon a realistic understanding of your personal abilities and limitations. When viewed in the proper context, the combination of desire and true ability can prove to be a powerful force indeed!
GETTING A CLEAR PICTURE
In order to most effectively take advantage of “chance” opportunities, it is first necessary to distinguish between random opportunities and opportunities that are in alignment with our own natural talents and abilities.
If we have a totally realistic view of what we are capable of accomplishing, we will not be tempted to enter into situations that must inevitably be doomed to failure.
Moral of the Story: Make the most of who you are and never try to be something you are not. Seek to live within your true mental, physical, psychological, economic and spiritual capacity, and you will never cultivate the unfortunate circumstances that others typically refer to as “bad luck.”
Although you may be told that you can do anything if you try, the fact is that the price you pay to accomplish it may be too high. By functioning beyond the parameters of your own personal talents and abilities, you
will soon reach a point of diminishing return, and thereafter, suffer needless stress, frustration and disappointment.
While this is certainly a situation to be avoided, it is equally wrong to underestimate your capabilities, or to hold yourself back because of an irrational need to “play it safe.” I have know many people who have successfully completed the first phase of their careers, which is to say that they are now ready to move current level of ability.
But while they have the skills, the experience and other necessary qualifications, they refuse to take the next major step.
I am thinking in particular of a friend who began his writing career by grinding out formulated plots for the pulp market. For those who are unaware of the term, “pulps” are sensationalized love or crime stories actually printed on a relatively cheap grade of paper stock known as “pulp.”
While many writers have launched illustrious careers by first writing for the pulps, some, like my friend, have never attempted to move on. For them, the pulp market represents “tested waters,” a security blanket of sorts, while attempting another genre of writing is to once again risk rejection.
The problem with this kind rationale is that my friend no longer feels creatively challenged by what he is doing. Meanwhile, lying in a dresser drawer is a rough draft of a screenplay he has been working on for several years.
From what he has told me about it, I am inclined to believe it could be successful. It certainly has an abundance of action and drama, and a powerfully uplifting message. But my friend has never attempted to tackle the movie business. To him, it is an “alien nation.”
Although there are many literary agents who specialize in this field, he is reluctant to approach any of them because of what he considers to be his “inferior credentials.” And so, he continues along in the field he knows
best, the one he no longer feels challenged by and secretly wishes to escape. Not surprisingly, he tends to identify with that particular brand of unlucky person who somehow just “never gets a break.”
How can we know when we are operating above or below our own level of expertise? I suppose it is more of a “gut” feeling than anything else. I know that experiencing a struggle is not, in itself, a sign that we are “in over our heads.” Hard work never hurt anyone.
Then again, there is that feeling that life is not really flowing. Everything related to a given activity seems to lead to endless frustration and despair.
The difficult is easier for those with natural ability, which simply means that the success factor is essentially to be found in the ability of the doer.
While latent abilities can certainly be developed, it would be unwise to depend upon an undeveloped ability to see you through a difficult or unfamiliar situation. The fact is that too many people take disastrous “chances” by relying upon undeveloped abilities to accomplish their goals.
BEWARE OF THE LUCK-KILLER
Ah yes, there is always a villain in the piece! In this case, it is the dastardly luck-killer, which so many fail to recognize because of his outwardly deceptive appearance. On the surface, he functions under the guise of confidence. Not only confidence – but also overconfidence!
The problem with overconfidence is that people are seldom aware when they are its victims. These are people who seek to mask their insecurities and lack of self-esteem by becoming reckless plungers.
Their judgment is usually clouded by the need to demonstrate their extraordinary courage and daring. They talk constantly of having a “lucky feeling” which is nothing more than impulse growing out of inexperience. Overconfident
people tend to underestimate the necessary requirements for success. They rush into investments, relationships and business dealings, never suspecting the hidden dangers involved until it is too late.
Finding themselves totally unequipped to handle the obstacles that confront them, they later refer to the experience as “bad luck.”
Over the years I have become acquainted with dozens of successful individuals who make their living at the racetrack. Contrary to common belief, the luckiest bettors never bet hunches or play impulsively.
Behind the luck of the professional bettor are many hours of research, study and experience. The specialized knowledge of the “pro” has taught him to minimize risks by carefully evaluating them beforehand.
Such expert gamblers study their craft just as stockbrokers, commodities and real estate brokers do. When they feel that they stand a good chance of matching their own ability to the inherent risks involved, they make their move.
HONESTY – STILL THE BEST POLICY
It always has been and always will be. The practice of honesty is of paramount importance in setting yourself up to attract good luck and good fortune. Unfortunately, many do not realize this, especially where money is concerned. Dishonest people consider themselves lucky regardless of the manner in which they manage to “win.”
To them, the true test of luck is material wealth. They generally justify their actions by insisting that is a dog-eat-dog world, which, of course, makes it necessary for them to get whatever they can in order to survive. Nowadays, the tendency to employ dishonest tactics for purposes of personal gain is widespread.
While we all occasionally have dishonest thoughts, particularly when our minds are operating in the “survival” mode, it is foolish to believe that there is any long-range gain to be realized from behaving dishonestly.
Consider the life of a convicted bank robber. As a career criminal, he may have stolen many thousands of dollars from others but, in the end, he stole more from himself. What do you suppose he would now be willing to pay in order to regain his freedom? Undoubtedly, every cent he ever stole, and much more besides.
If you presently know dishonest individuals who seem to be “getting away with everything,” perhaps you consider them lucky. We have all known people who appear to be living luxuriously while the rest of us work long and hard for what we have. What do we have? Better yet, what do the others have that we envy them for?
Every day that they live, dishonest people set themselves up for social, civil and criminal reproachment. Then too, they are often tormented in a psychological or spiritual way. Over a period of time, their dishonesty destroys their capacity for love and friendship because they believe there is no one they can really trust.
Any person with a devious nature is certain to see others in a similar light. For that reason alone, they are not inclined to become close to anyone, which inevitably causes them to lead lonely and isolate lives.
do you still feel that dishonest people have any real advantage? Or
anything at ALL worth having?
Wouldn’t you rather sleep well at night?
Wouldn’t you rather be surrounded by loving family and friends, secure in the knowledge that you have no legitimate reason to be always looking over your shoulder?
I am sure the honest answer to that is, “Yes”.
THE LINK BETWEEN CHANCE AND LUCK
We have talked about chance, and we have talked about luck. If, in the process, you have come to see one term as synonymous with the other, you will be surprised to learn that they are not.
The dictionary defines “chance” as a course of events not subject to calculation. Chance is comprised of an unpredictable number of happenings, both important and irrelevant. For the most part, it is best not to personalize them, or to respond to them in any significant way.
The link between “chance” and “luck” cannot occur until you develop an emotional attachment to a given situation or event. It is only then that chance becomes luck, since luck is really a personalized perception of chance
For example, let us assume that you are an aspiring entrepreneur who has developed a new product that requires marketing and promotion. On impulse, you decide to attend a party, merely to enjoy an evening out.
The dozens of people you mingle with play no significant role in your life, and so, your conversation is confined to “small talk.” But then you have a chance to overhear a remark by a successful marketer who is looking for some new and exciting product to add to his line.
Suddenly, “chance” takes on new meaning for you. What began as an impersonal remark, now becomes extremely personal to you. And so, “chance” becomes “luck.”
It is actually our RESPONSE mechanism to chance that determines our luck. As chances in life occur, they must first be recognized for what they are before anything more can be done. Or, to put it another way: Observation is the key to transformation.
Successful people have a talent for chance. They know how to take advantage of it, while losers are only its victims.
You may have noticed that a victim of bad luck is generally a person who believes he is “jinxed” and that noticed good will ever happen to him. Would you say that he has been adversely affected by outside circumstances, or that outside circumstances have been allowed to adversely affect his thoughts?
It you try to remind such a person that he has much to be grateful for, he will rarely, if ever, agree. Not unless he can be made to understand that he has NOT been singled out by some external force over which he has no personal control.
ACTIVELY CREATING GOOD LUCK
The truth is, we do not get what we want – we get what we expect. This is a basic fact of life. Before anything else can change, our expectation level must change from that of being a victim of life’s misfortunes, to being a receptor of opportunity.
Accumulated evidence has shown that attitude is one of the most important factors in creating good luck. Through the right attitude, it is possible to develop the skill of attracting good luck with almost mathematical precision.
Since most misfortunes in life have their roots in faulty perceptions, it is in your own best interests to cultivate the most positive and constructive thoughts.
Make no mistake about it! Your good luck is directly related to the information that is stored in that mental computer known as your subconscious mind.
This information comes to you in a variety of ways – through other people, from things you read, from tapes you listen to, from what you see on television. And while there is certainly nothing wrong with being a good listener, observer or reader, great care must be
taken to avoid the trap of merely “ingesting information” since that, in itself, will not insure success or good luck. Good luck and good fortune comes to those who are prepared to take appropriate ACTION once an idea has been formed. Such people invariably find that the more action they take, the luckier they get!
POSITIVE EXPECTATION INCREASES GOOD LUCK
There are those who continue to take issue with the idea of positive expectation,” insisting that this encourages nothing more than false optimism. “I refuse to trick myself into believing things are better than they are!” such people will say.
To begin with, I would not encourage anyone to deliberately delude himself. On the other hand, there is nothing to be gained from looking at the negative side of life.
You may have heard it said that people who always expect the worst are seldom disappointed. Well, it’s true! Such people have mastered the art of drawing negative situations into their lives through their own negative belief system and actions.
How sad this is since it is just as easy, and certainly more advantageous, to remind yourself of the many legitimate reasons you have to be optimistic. Whatever the immediate problem, you can be sure that the solution is available to you, just waiting to be discovered. It will come to you when you are ready to accept it.
This is what is meant by “positive expectation,” and believe me, it has nothing whatsoever to do with deluding yourself.
Immediate challenges and problems notwithstanding, it is important to remind yourself that you always possess the inner qualities and talents to turn the odds in your favor. So, forget about all the reasons why
something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it WILL!
A lucky person is one who recognizes chance opportunities, acts on them, and most of all –
EXPECTS TO BE LUCKY!